California’s Second District Court of Appeals has been under fire since Thursday when they granted a retrial for a man who was convicted of rape. The alleged rapist snuck into a woman’s room and had sex with her by pretending to be her boyfriend. The court system said that the reason the retrial was granted is because the woman wasn’t married.
"A man enters the dark bedroom of an unmarried woman after seeing her boyfriend leave late at night, and has sexual intercourse with the woman while pretending to be the boyfriend," the court said in its ruling. "Has the man committed rape? Because of historical anomalies in the law and the statutory definition of rape, the answer is no, even though, if the woman had been married and the man had impersonated her husband, the answer would be yes."
The woman, identified as Jane Doe, claimed she woke up in the middle of the night having sex, but was confused because she and her boyfriend had decided they would not have sex before he left that night. When she was able to see the man’s face, she realized she was having sex with someone who was not her boyfriend. It was Julio Morales. Jane screamed and tried to push Morales away. He eventually left the room.
Morales admitted he entered Jane’s house after her boyfriend left and had sex with her. "He also thought she believed he was her boyfriend." Morales’ defense team claims that the alleged rapist was not pushed away and that he did not try to have sex with her after he initially pulled out of her.
Morales claimed in his appeal that he should not have been convicted because Jane was not married. Business Insider reports: “California's penal code says a crime is rape if the victim was unconscious or asleep or ‘submits under the belief that the person committing the act is the victim's spouse, and this belief is induced by any artifice, pretense, or concealment practiced by the accused, with intent to induce the belief." Jane was not married to her boyfriend, which means that Morales did not violate California’s penal code.
"We reluctantly hold that a person who accomplishes sexual intercourse by impersonating someone other than a married victim's spouse is not guilty of the crime of rape of an unconscious person," the appeals court ruled.
If Jane had been married, Julio would have had no basis for an appeal. Many are claiming California needs to reexamine their penal code.
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